It is very sad what's happening in that country and we ask that all reading this to please keep Venezuela in your prayers.
At present (2018) the Venezuelan government is not issuing any more passports. The prisons are way over-crowded and resorting to cannibalism even! So the situation there is getting gravely worse, especially after the recent fraudulent elections.
Let us introduce you to our mission host family, the Barriga's. Their names are Sosimo Andrate Barriga Romero and his wife Yannirett Mogollon de Barriga. They are both 42 years old, and they have a son, Daniel Barriga Mogollon (Just turned 7 on May 24th). They come from Puerto La Cruz, a coastal Caribbean port city, population of less than 100,000, about 325 kilometers east of Caracas Venezuela.
Our pastoral trained couple come to the Mission in Perú with a great deal of experience. Together they have been quite active in ministry with children, worship leadership, counseling, and other ministries for nearly two decades. Sosimo pastored a church for 4 years at Ebenezer Bautista in Barcelona Venezuela, after which he was a leader with his brother-in-law’s church “Comunidad Cristiana Discipular MARANATHA”, in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela, until they left for Peru. (Church cell leader Carlos Matos, brother-in-law, is now in Columbia. We met in January 2018 in Lima and he was instrumental in getting us together with the Barriga family).
- Other training that Sosimo has: "Marriage for Life", "Parents School", bible counseling, "Explosive Evangelistic", adoration/worship, intercession, discipleship, evangelism, children ministry for abandoned children in the street, missionary work with the Amazons indigents in Plaroa in Venezuela, Leader of cellules (home studies). He also attended YWAM discipleship training in Venezuela and base leadership in Brazil of 20 years ago.
- Yannirett has been married to Sosimo for 18 years, worked together in ministry since they got married and worked together in their business of bakery shop for 15 yrs. and others places. Additional ministerial work for Yannirett: Teach children, Organized vacation bible study, Coordinator of teachers, member of the worship team.
Our challenges in 2018, in getting this wonderfully qualified pastoral couple to the mission, were two-fold:
- getting them out of Venezuela;
- funding them since there is no funding possibilities from their home country.
As you can see, we were quite enthused as to their experience and credentials and feel they are a perfect match for the mission, all the children, the growth of the mission church, and the plans for expanding mission outreach work. We are a very child/youth focused mission and we could see only positives in this relationsip between the Mission and the Barriga family as our goals, direction and focus seemed very parallel.
Challenge One: We initiated efforts to get them out of Venezuela early March of 2018 by plane (considering traveling with a 6 year old, this was definitely in the families best interest). We were most hopeful that they would have gotten out on March 10th but the airline refused them the day they were boarding due to new regulations. They had to wait another 5 weeks, living at a church in Caracas with their child missing school. Just before it came time to travel again, Venezuela had dissolved all relations with Panama, the airline host country, making Copa airlines cancel ALL flights in and out of the country. It then took another 3 weeks to get them to Peru by bus taking 5 days, nearly 5000 kilometers. I would not wish what they went through on anyone. The family finally got to the mission after a two-month ordeal getting out of Venezuela.
The Barriga family are very nice qualified quality people. They're very helpful, eager to work, very humble, very respectful, easy going, nice attitude (a real plus), humorous, with a lot of experience in ministry with children family counseling and many other ministries. In the short time they been here We've seen how they get right into mission matters, little training, they observe and are self-starters. They came with a single suitcase each, and zero money, but God provided in the 5-day trip by bus from Venezuela to Peru. They ministered, witnessed, and led many people to the Lord.
We are of strong mind that God wanted them to come to Peru this way so many people can be saved. What they went through to get out of Venezuela was an act of God, HE used them to ministry in the last 2 months that they tried to get out of their country. They should write a book, maybe tape this journey and we will translate.
Challenge 2: After much prayer, LAMA has nvested about $1,000 in getting this family here, and we have no regrets in doing so. In fact, as stated, it is very clear to us that God has been active in getting us first together with them and being regularly in touch with them as they made this arduous journey. As of this writing, we are very much of interest, especially in light of the complete gap of support from their home country in light of the economics there, in helping to find them monthly support.
Normally, missionaries (long or short term) come here with funding from home. The Barriga's were planning to go do missionary/church work in Brazil when the Venezuela economy collapsed. They would have the same support issues regardless of where they went. Considering what is going on in Venezuela, this is a unique situation. We have stepped forward in faith to have the Barriga's become missionaries here in Peru. We would be very interested in what supporters can do with us for this need. Considering they are also unexpected refugees of Venezuela, this is a double blessing to the mission and to a needed God-serving family.
Spanish is their primary language of course but in short order at the mission, with visiting missionaries from the USA wanting to learn spanish, they are rapidly learning englsh. Again, we see God's hand at work!! As they continue to learn english, we are helping them to create a bilingual newsletter of their activities. We will ensure any and all translation needs to form a good communications link between supporters and the Barriga family. We believe that besides the housing needs that we are providing, as a family of 3 they will need $5-600/month base to live on. This will provide "basic" needs.
If you are interested in supporting this blessed family, we would love to hear from you. If there is more structure, information, understanding that you would like us to provide, just ask. We are currently their primary support (with one other primary blessed anonymous couple in San Diego). Obviously this is not as healthy as if we could get their finances supported by 10 to 20 individuals, churchs or families for instance. We would welcome any and all suggestions you might have. We would especially love your prayers and support in any way that you can offer.
I will include two links of a personal letter from the Barriga family, in both Spanish, and English. We look forward to answering any questions that you may have, and for your prayerful support. [If you are interested in supporting, use the donate link provided and just add words indicating that this is for the Barriga or Venezuela family at the mission. ]